Black History Museum exhibit celebrates 38 jazz musicians from Virginia

Posted at 12:19 PM, Jan 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-28 12:19:15-05

RICHMOND, Va. - An exhibit at the Black History Museum in Richmond is celebrating 38 jazz musicians from Virginia.

"Virginia Jazz – The Early Years" highlights seven decades of Virginia artists and their contributions to Jazz music. The exhibition was created in 2017 by the Richmond Jazz Society.

“It is about the lives, the successes, the triumphs and the trials of 38 musicians from around Virginia," Black History Museum Executive Director Adele Johnson said.

Some of the names are familiar like Bill Bojangles, Roberta Flack and Plunky.

"The exhibition really focuses on those artists from the early 1900s to about 1960," Johnson noted. "And Plunky is the newest addition to the group."

And others who are not so familiar, like Mabel Scott, offer the "opportunity to learn more about them and to be proud of another part of Virginia’s history," Johnson said.

The artists were chosen because of their national accomplishments.

You will also see the piano of jazz great Joe Kennedy.

"And it is available for artists to play, however, we do have a little note up there that says we want to make music, not noise," Johnson laughed. "So if we hear that it’s the other way around, we will go and ask the person to play at home."

"Virginia Jazz -- The Early Years" is on display through June.

Johnson said membership to the museum is the "best deal in town" at $35 a year.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Click here for more information on the Black History Museum’s website.